Conference USA Men's Basketball Recap and Weekend Preview

Conference USA

Conference USA

Louisiana Tech won its seventh game in a row and clinched a first-round bye in the C-USA Men’s Basketball Championship presented by MetroPCS with an 86-67 road win at North Texas.
Old Dominion and UTEP held onto their tie for third place in the C-USA standings with wins Thursday night. The Monarchs led wire-to-wire this evening to split their series with Marshall after posting an 86-54 victory. The Miners have won 10 of their last 12 games after snapping a 12-game skid back on Jan. 12. UTEP is in the midst of a three-game road swing and picked up the 60-55 decision over host Florida Atlantic.
Charlotte and UTSA each punched their tickets to the Championship with respective wins over WKU and FIU. Rice rounded out the night with a dramatic 72-71 overtime win against visiting Southern Miss.
Standings/Results [PDF]
Statistics [PDF]
at Charlotte 83, WKU 77
UTEP 60, at Florida Atlantic 55
UTSA 69, at FIU 67
at Old Dominion 86, Marshall 65
Louisiana Tech 85, at North Texas 67
at Rice 72, Southern Miss 71 (OT)

LOUISIANA TECH 85, NORTH TEXAS 67:  Louisiana Tech won its seventh game in a row and clinched a first-round bye in the C-USA Men’s Basketball Championship presented by MetroPCS with an 86-67 road win at North Texas. Junior G Jacobi Boykins (St. Petersburg, Fla.) got hot early and finished with 22 points, with four three-pointers.

Senior Erik McCree (Orlando, Fla.) added 17 points and seven rebounds as the Bulldogs outscored NT, 53-35 in the second half as the teams were tied at 32 at the half. Freshman A.J. Lawson (Bryan, Texas) paced the Mean Green with 15 points and seven boards.

Quotable: “We are happy to come out of here with a win. It was not without a great effort because we got one from North Texas. They had been playing very well. They were mixing up defenses and it just took us time to get into a rhythm. Give our guys a lot of credit for staying together, both offensively and defensively, finding ways to get stops and scores.” – Louisiana Tech head coach Eric Konkol

CHARLOTTE 83, WKU 77: Charlotte punched its ticket to the C-USA Championship with an 83-77 victory over WKU. Sophomore Jon Davis (Upper Marlboro, Md.) paced the 49ers with 23 points and moved back into the top spot of the C-USA scoring chart, averaging 20.1 ppg. on the season. Braxton Ogbueze (Charlotte, N.C.) and Austin Ajukwa (Columbia, S.C.) combined for another 31 points for the 49ers with 16 and 15, respectively.

Senior transfer Pancake Thomas (Baton Rouge, La.) matched Davis for the game-high with 23 points, including 16 in the first half. Thomas started off the game with a perfect 6-of-6 from the field, with four three-pointers before the break.

Quotable: “This was a really good win for us. I thought for the most part, we played 40 minutes of solid basketball, [WKU] made a run in the second half, tied the game and even took the lead momentarily. We've been talking as a team about being more resilient when that stuff happens. I didn't see any heads drop or any eyes glaze over, I saw a determined group go out there and get a win tonight. So, I was really proud of them.” – Charlotte head coach Mark Price

OLD DOMINION 86, MARSHALL 65: Brothers Brandan and B.J. Stith (Lawrenceville, Va.) combined for 26 points and eight rebounds to lead Old Dominion in an 86-65 victory over Marshall. ODU has now won three in a row by 20 or more points. The win kept the Monarchs in a tie for third-place in the C-USA standings. Sophomore B.J. Stith led ODU with 17 points, including a 9-of-10 performance at the free throw line, while Brandan Stith had nine points.

Marshall senior Austin Loop (South Webster, Ohio) had a game-high 18 points from shooting 5-of-9 (55.6 percent) 3-pointers and going 3-of-3 (100.0 percent) at the free throw line.

Quotable: “I thought our energy was good and our defense was solid all the way through. We are thrilled to win, but we can’t look too much into this. We still have plenty of room to improve; there is a high ceiling for this group. Now, we have a big challenge coming up on Saturday night.” – Old Dominion head coach Jeff Jones

UTSA 69, FIU 67: Senior Lucas O’Brien (Chandler, Ariz.) scored 17 points, including the go-ahead 3-pointer in the final seconds, to lift UTSA to a 69-67 win over host FIU. O’Brien tied his career-high with five triples for the Roadrunners, who snapped a three-game skid and secured a spot in the upcoming Conference USA Championship with the victory.

Junior Jeff Beverly (League City, Texas) added 17 points and seven rebounds to help UTSA shoot 50 percent, its best mark during C-USA play. The Roadrunners totaled 28 points in the paint and scored 21 points off 13 turnovers. FIU senior Donte McGill (Newark, Del.) paced the Panthers with a game-high 22 points on 7-of-11 shooting. FIU held a 31-26 edge on the glass.

UTEP 60, FLORIDA ATLANTIC 55: Seniors Dominic Artis (San Francisco, Calif.) and Omega Harris (Bethany, Okla.) each neared double-double performances and earned a 60-55 road win at FAU. Artis finished with 12 points and nine rebounds, while Harris scored 11 points and grabbed eight boards. Senior G Adonis Filer (Chicago, Ill.) finished with 15 points, while junior G Gerdarius Troutman (Butler, Ga.) added 12.

RICE 72, SOUTHERN MISS 71 (OT): Sophomore G Marcus Evans (Chesapeake, Va.) made a layup with 1.9 seconds on the clock to lift the Owls over Southern Miss, 72-71 in overtime. Redshirt junior Egor Koulechov (Volgograd, Russia) registered his ninth double-double of the season with 26 points and 10 rebounds.

Rice has won six of its last seven games and has nine conference wins for the first time since joining C-USA. Senior Quinton Campbell (Wilmer, Ala.) led the Golden Eagles with 18 points as the team rallied from a 14-point deficit in the second half. Sophomore Cortez Edwards (Kissimmee, Fla.) hit the jumper that tied the game at 67-all to send it into overtime.

(All times Central)
Sat., February 25
Southern Miss at North Texas ( - 2:00p
Marshall at Charlotte (ASN) - 5:00p
UTEP at FIU ( - 6:00p
UTSA at Florida Atlantic ( - 6:00p
WKU at Old Dominion (ESPN3) - 6:00p
Louisiana Tech at Rice ( - 7:00p
Sun., February 26
Middle Tennessee at UAB (CBSSN) - 12:00p

Conference games in BOLD.

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2016-17 C-USA Men's Basketball Fact Book

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